PEAT BANKS, BLACKFACE SHEEP, HARRIS HILLS.
The plumber problem may be resolved. All work on the house stopped a couple of weeks ago causing desperation in my beating chest. Both myself and the builder phoned many plumbers, none of whom were interested in doing the work at short notice, or at all. The most frustrating aspect of it all is sitting here in someone else's flat, having to pay rent and all the expenses of my own house, without knowing when I can go home. The builder says that the renovation would have been completely finished by now if these plumbing difficulties had not arisen. Well, whilst swimming around in despair on Thursday, I had the idea of using the work intranet and sent out a message to hundreds of people asking if anybody knew of an available plumber.
Result! I had loads of replies giving me information about plumbers who might be able to help. Some of them gave details of people I had already phoned and others eventually came to nothing. A colleague spoke to her plumber brother in law, told him of my plight and he has agreed to help. He and his son, also a plumber, came to the house a few days ago to look at the job, gave me an acceptable estimate and they both started work at 9 o'clock this morning. So far so good. The only problem is that father and son are both working full time elsewhere, so can only do my work on Saturdays ( no Sabbath breaking ) This will delay the job a bit but even so, with two of them working together, I'm hopeful that progress can be made quickly now. Obtaining a plumber has improved my mood dramatically and maybe I'll get my house back in a month or two, fully renovated, without further difficulties. Maybe.
All of a sudden, the weather seems better, the grass is greener and the birds are singing louder. The Golden Eagles are to be seen every day now above the flat using the thermals to circle and soar. The days are getting longer and my dark Winter blues are lifting. Even saw a patch of miniature daffodils in full bloom yesterday. Just need my house back now and all will be well with the world. Am very much looking forward to being able to have friends visit this year when the house is finished.
Have been working in Uist and Barra this week and the weather has been wonderful - dramatic pink sunrises and warm rainfree days. Rare events here in February.
Came across a dead otter on the causeway between North Uist and Benbecula on Wednesday. They tend to use the same routes constantly, don't have very good eyesight and get killed now and again by speeding motorists. Although there's a healthy population of otters all around the coast of the Outer Hebrides, we can't afford to lose them like this and it's always sad to see them dead on the road. There are plenty of 'Otters Crossing' signs, but car drivers don't seem to take any notice of them.
No further news on the windfarm issue yet. The developer, Lewis Wind Farms, have put in a revised application to the Scottish Executive proposing to build the turbines in stages - some immediately, some more in two years time and the remainder two years after that. Same plan spread out over a lengthier period. For some reason, they think they will kill fewer birds and do less environmental damage with this new idea.
Oh somebody save us from the collective brains of powerful international companies.
Had to smile this week when I received an email from a friend who is outraged that fuel at her local garage in England has just risen to 106 pence a litre. She wants me to sign a petition protesting at the increased cost and to boycott all Shell and BP petrol stations. We have neither of them on the island, but I now have to pay 120 pence a litre for my diesel at the local petrol pumps.